I am a morning person; I love the freshness of early morning. I am also a night person, because I love the quietude of late night. Essentially, then, it's midday that I don't really care for, when we are stricken with what we like to call around here, “the afternoon blahs.” In the winter, a hot cup of tea and cookies warm from the oven can relieve the “blahs,” but in summer? Well, I recently found the remedy for this dreary time of day while trolling the Sweet Paul website and came across his recipe for Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Generally, I'm a purist when it comes to coffee, and want no part of sweetness or spicy flavor in my hot cuppa joe, but when I tasted this it was love at first sip. This recipe makes four servings. I made a batch of cold brew, and syrup, stored both in the fridge, and when the “blahs” struck, reached for this remedy, pouring a 4:1 ratio of coffee concentrate to syrup, but you can experiment on your own. It is a delightfully exotic way to tackle the dreariness of mid-afternoon.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar*
4 Melissa's canela (cinnamon) sticks
5 black peppercorns
10 cardamom pods (I used black pods)
2 cups cold brew concentrate
1 cup Half ‘n half
Make syrup by putting water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and cardamom in a small saucepan, and bringing it to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Cool and strain.
When ready to serve, pour coffee concentrate, Half & Half, and 1/2 cup of the syrup into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake it baby, shake it. Pour into glasses and enjoy.
*I found this at Trader Joe's.
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